Anthony's Film Review

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

The second entry in the series of Star Trek movies is certainly engaging...

A quick disclaimer before I proceed to my review: I'm not a Star Trek fan, so my comments come from the perspective of a newbie with little knowledge of this fictional universe. Therefore, you don't have to worry about me being a fan with a positive bias in my review. At the same time, a non-fan like myself may be somewhat lost because of limited knowledge of the fictional universe. Still, I try to be fair and keep an open mind, and I do think my final rating for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is neither higher nor lower than it should. With that, here are my thoughts.

I chose to see the second Star Trek movie because a friend of mine, who is much more knowledgeable of Star Trek than I am, said it's a good one. And she's right. Though it's not the greatest movie ever made, I thought it was pretty good. There are really two reasons I enjoyed it. One, the set design that brings to life the excitement of space exploration and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise working together as one. Two, the performances of William Shatner as Admiral James T. Kirk and Ricardo Montalban as the villain named Khan.

The story is an interesting one, mainly because it's a sequel to "Space Seed," a specific episode of the original Star Trek TV series from the 1960s. At the end of that episode, Khan and several other genetically engineered supermen were banished to a desolate planet. Now in Star Trek II, Khan is back. He devises a clever plot to take control of another ship, the U.S.S. Reliant, and use it to get revenge on Kirk, who was responsible for Khan's exile before. In addition, Khan and his men seek out Genesis, a technology that could create life from lifeless matter but could also destroy life as well. The latter makes Genesis a deadly weapon, which is why Khan is so interested in it.

Essentially, the movie consists of dialogue on the Enterprise, dramatic scenes that move the plot, a couple of action scenes when ships attack each other, and, to a certain degree, tension as Khan appears to be outwitting Kirk. In fact, in a notable scene, Kirk ends up screaming at the villain in frustration and anger ("KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!"). All of this leads to a climax that involves a race against time, one opponent outwitting another, and a brave sacrifice by one character for the benefit of all.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is not a bad movie. It does feel a lot like a two-hour episode of a Star Trek TV episode rather than a movie that's more epic, but that's OK. For me as a non-Trekkie, it's nice to be able to give this Star Trek movie a shot so I could see what the hype is all about. I liked the characters, not just Kirk and Khan but also Leonard Nimoy as Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew. More importantly, I can appreciate the wonder of exploring space, the final frontier, to seek new life forms and civilizations. And, of course, boldly going where no man has gone before.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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